Monday, November 8, 2010

Adventures In FPSes Part 2 -- Perfect Dark Showdown

This is Part 2 to my FPS article.  Click here to read Part 1.

This one's purely about Perfect Dark on Xbox Live.  Hoo boy, this is when things get dicey.  Like before, none of these stories are embellished--trust me.  These accounts are the first time I've ever shared them with the public and I'll keep all parties anonymous.  I'm playing quick matches: random maps, random weapons, ten point limit, ten-minute time limit.  I'll begin with one story that happened about a couple of months ago (around May/June 2010 IIRC).

Back in May, I was in the 8-player Team Lobby and it's me versus two other guys on a team.  So it's a 1 vs 2, just great.  I don't mind being the lone wolf since I've done this before and I like the challenge.  Plus, if I lose, then I have the "I was outnumbered," excuse.  However, completely unexpected to me, these guys were GOOD. They hunted me down like a pack of wolves. I really couldn't get into a good position to take down one of them especially since they stuck together.  I only won one game and that was Close Combat on Temple.  I just got lucky with my Crossbow shots.

After about eight or nine games, I got fatigued and started giving up really stupid kills to the point I was ready to "tap out." They eventually quit after about ten games. I'm actually surprised these people managed to play for so long, but they did. If I were in their shoes, I would've done the same thing, sadly.  At least they were good sports about it so the drubbing didn't sting that much.  They sent me a message like "Find yourself a teammate, you'll be good."

I then go back to playing some normal FFA games against mostly novices. I start mopping up, getting some good runs, then all of a sudden (this was in June BTW) who else pops up but ONE OF THE GUYS FROM THAT DUO EARLIER....and he was the host. So basically, this is a head-to-head game I knew would be a matchup for the ages. Like Rocky vs. Apollo Creed.

First game was Farsights on Base. In case you didn't know, the Farsight is a gun that can slowly lock onto and one-hit kill enemies through walls. So basically, get the Farsight first, play competently, and you'll win. We trade blows at 1-1 early, then he gets the Farsight. I am absolutely destroyed with a 1-10 loss which obviously is a piss-poor start.

Second game is Classic Power on Ravine. Get dual RC-P45s and you will destroy others. Since Perfect Dark has very quick innings (it takes just a few well-placed shots to kill someone), you can still come back if you only have one RC-P45 while the other has two, but it didn't work out that way. Falling behind 0-6 early, it seemed like he was poised to deliver a complete shellacking.

...But then, something completely changed that I don't know why. It can be best described like this. You're at the arcade and you're playing the original OutRun. You're puttering around slowly thinking, "Why the hell am I going so slow?" Then you realize that you're stuck in Low gear and you stick that lever into High as tires start to kick up.  I start to zone out again and crank it up a notch and what happens next could best be described by this:

Wielding one RC-P45 and a shield, he turns the corner with his dual RC-P45's and I get the best of him.  1-6.  Now I'm the hunter and he's the hunted.  And I swear that when this happened, I PROCEEDED TO HUNT THE GUY DOWN AND PUNISH HIS ASS EVERY CHANCE I COULD.  Like a cheetah going after an antelope.  It was quite possibly the most satisfying win ever as I hustled to come back 8-7.  Chalk up one win for our side.

The next seven or eight games, I proceeded to just absolutely rip this guy a new one and win a bunch in a row.  I vaguely remember what the game settings were but all I know is I did win.  And I didn't even take the time to celebrate--I was that into it.  He saved face on one match which was Classic Pistols on G5 Building, 5-5.  Since none of the guns were powerful enough to break through shields, it was a stalemate as we both hogged the shield and tried to get in some weak shots from afar.  Eventually he called it quits.  We didn't speak to each other since, but really, I don't want to insult this guy since he is clearly good.  I'm just absolutely stunned by what happened that day.  The complete change in momentum.


I have quite a few stories like this (none nearly as epic though) but here's one that I had recently.  This one was really late--around September 2010 or so.  My skills were a little rusty since I hadn't played in a while.  It was another head-to-head versus some guy I've seen around before; someone completely different than last time so there was no "revenge" factor at play.  He was the host so that's not good.  The first match was Classic Power (oh geez) on Pipes.  First match, I hustle and finish the guy off at 10-0.  Just a beautiful game and that's when I underestimated him.

The second game was Grenade Launchers on Villa.  First kill of the game was when he mowed me down with the Dragon, but because of a lucky grenade rebound on my part, that's 1-1.  So we both have Devastators now, but when I tell you I couldn't get a good shot to save my life.  My trajectories were all screwed up while his were dead on.  I don't even get a single kill the rest of the game as he goes on to win 10-1.  Now I knew I was in for a fight.

Every single win I had was a blowout.  One was on (regular) Power on Skedar.  Power has the RC-P120 which allows you cloak but it eats up your ammo.  So we're scrambling around trying to get as much ammo and seek each other out.  He sneaks up on me, but then I get the turn-around kill, giving me first score.  Then I hustle to finish 6-1--the only time I died when we both killed each other at the same time (I had low health obviously).

Another game is on Automatics on Temple.  This one has the Laptop Gun which can fold up into a sentry gun (though you can only have one deployed at a time).  He really got clever by tossing laptop sentries in all sorts of locations, completely catching me off guard.  Then again, he hung out around the Laptop Gun spawn and I couldn't reach it.  I only lost that one 5-4 as he was also clever enough to hold off from spawning as long as possible near the end so that he could run the clock out.

I also lost on Proximity Mines on Base as I kept stumbling into my own mines though he made some crucial mistakes at the end that I almost made a comeback in the 6-7 loss.  With about 30 seconds left in the game, I had the K7 Avenger and the shield so I could've ran right over to him to get the equalizer, but I wasted too much time looking for proxies.

EDIT: And let me throw this in here too.  I know that Perfect Dark takes some garbage for not being as "deep" as Halo or whatever, but screw that.  It's very interesting to see the way games play out even with radar on like "screen watching."  One of these games that I won was Classic Power on Fortress.  Once again, get the RC-P45's.  However, those guns are at the bottom of the map while the shields are at the top.  So you can get the RC-P45's and monopolize the shields, but you're bound to run out of ammo eventually so you have to scramble back and forth.  You can't guard both of them.  I won that game 4-1.  I think you could make the game a little more balanced if you put weapons that are relatively similar in strength (no way a DY357 or Shotgun can compete with the RC-P45), but what I'm trying to say is that it gets tight in these close games.

I'm upset that on top of one blowout loss, I lost two other games by one point because I'd rather win the game than show off.  I think there's a lot to learn about what happened in both games.  I'm proud of how I did because I won about seven games while he won three, but there's still many things I could've done better.


So that's my experiences in competitive FPS.  No, it wasn't for Game Battles or MLG, this is just a bunch of "try-hards" going out there, playing the game, doing their best.  I will probably lose some in the future if I play again.  I do feel by playing these games, I feel that I've undergone so much stress in each sitting that it aged me a little.  I don't know if I'm cut out for this kind of stuff even if I had the skills because there's more to life than just winning at a game.  But we still keep coming back anyway

 I was going to conclude the article here, but I'll throw in a bonus here.  Check out Part 3 on Tips to Win.

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